Several dozen supporters of Mumia Abu-Jamal gathered outside a Philadelphia courtroom Wednesday as a judge heard arguments on whether he should get another trial.
Abu-Jamal is currently serving life in prison after being convicted in the 1981 death of police officer Daniel Faulkner.
“It’s about time that Mumia is free,” said Sarah Torres, who came from Detroit for Wednesday’s rally. “It’s been too long. He’s innocent.”
Abu-Jamal’s case is seen by some as a symbol of a broken criminal justice system. Supporters say he was wrongly convicted — and see him as a political prisoner.
Gwendolyn Debrow organized a bus of demonstrators to come down from New York. She’s been pushing for Abu-Jamal to be freed for two decades.
”The man has been in prison for 40 years for something that he did not do,” she said. “The police know he did not do it.”
Several boxes of documents related to the case were found in 2018 — and Abu-Jamal’s lawyers say they contain information that casts doubt on the state’s witnesses. Prosecutors also struck numerous Black potential jurors in the trial, leaving a mostly white jury.
Abu-Jamal’s death sentence was dropped in 2011.
Faulkner’s family and friends — as well as the police union — believe the case against Abu-Jamal is strong. They want him to stay in prison for the rest of his life.
Abu-Jamal supporters have also called for him to be released over medical issues.